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Dear Friends,

Recently – it was November 26, 2021 – I stopped off by my favorite Munich bar, “Schumann’s”, to have dinner, when I was asked to show not just my vaccination pass, but my identity card as well. It took me a while to localize the paper – it is actually a plastic card – in the household of my inside coat pockets, but I had every reason to make sure I was the right person at the right place. It said: “Lothar Schirmer, born February 1, 1945, in Schmalkalden.” So, not just the first day of Advent was imminent, but my 77th birthday as well. Please pardon my presenting this new program „under reserve“ due to the quantum leap in my age. However, rather than boring you with insecurities relating to health or impending paper shortage I’d like to get down to business.

Against all odds our program is as beautiful and rich as if Fortuna had poured it upon us (one or the other publication date may be postponed, since it is actually a program for a whole year).

Two lucky strikes of international culture politics will bring unforeseen public attention to our authors August Sander and Bernd and Hilla Becher. The Centre Pompidou in Paris is celebrating August Sander with two major exhibitions presenting his photographs both in the context of New Objectivity paintings and in a solo show. The exhibitions, to be seen during the entire summer, will be accompanied by two catalogs published by Schirmer/Mosel. Bernd and Hilla Becher’s seminal oeuvre will be celebrated in a major retrospective at the New York Metropolitan Museum, subsequently traveling to the West Coast and Canada.

On February 9, Gerhard Richter will be 90. We are celebrating the artist with a second edition of Armin Zweite’s major monograph. In addition, Richter gave us one of his own photographs for our ongoing series of Collector’s Editions.

Joseph Beuys would be 101 on May 12. In cooperation with the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt we are raising a hitherto hidden treasure: Joseph Beuys Extends Ulysses by Six Further Chapters on Behalf of James Joyce (1957–1961), six notebooks filled with the most delicate Beuys drawings. To be published for the first time in a limited-edition large-size volume, with a German/English introduction by Mechthild Haas, head of the Darmstadt Department of Prints and Drawings. Coincidence of dates: in 2022, James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is celebrating its 100th anniversary of publication.

My personal history of publishing Beuys startet 50 years ago, in 1972, with a big, white book of pencil drawings. Deutsche Post used an artwork from the book’s collector’s edition for their 2021 Beuys centennial stamp. To mark my personal anniversary of publishing Beuys and my friendship with the Beuys family, I decided to write a “small history of the big white book” according to Aristotle’s dictum, “the beginning is half of the whole.”

I also wish to emphasize the many other books in this program. To name just one, please note Michael Krüger’s monograph on Giovanni Segantini, a wonderful union of painted art and written poetry. You’ll love it.

Thank you for your attention. I wish you a successful Ulysses year 2022 with the new and the wonderfully matured old Schirmer/Mosel books.

And, of course, stay in good health!

Lothar Schirmer, December 2021


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